Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Israeli Soldier Taken Hostage During Tunnel Clearing Operation In Rafa; Al-Qassam Brigades Says They "Assume" Missing Israeli Soldier Is Dead; Rescue Mission Under Way to Bring Home Two American Ebola Patients
Aired August 1, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN GUEST HOST, "ERIN BURNETT TONIGHT": I hope you join us there. I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm in for Erin Burnett tonight.
AC360 with Anderson Cooper starts right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks very much for joining us.
Tonight, somewhere an Israeli soldier is either spending his first night in captivity or he is dead. We just don't know. His name is Second lieutenant Hadar Goldin. He was taken this morning during a tunnel clearing operation in Rafa, Southern Gaza according to Israel. And two fellow soldiers were kid blown up by a suicide bomber.
Now a massive search is underway, so Israeli military operations and a whole lot of Palestinians are dead. Hamas did not claim responsibility, which on itself is not unusual. They waited weeks after kidnapping a soldier eight years ago before even claiming knowledge of it.
Late tonight, it's military wing (INAUDIBLE) said it has no information on lieutenant Goldin. President Obama late today making no fine distinctions among the players blaming, in his words, Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to make sure that they are listening if they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Tonight, what was intended to be the first of three nights of calm in the first day of negotiating has instead become what could be a tipping point toward the worst.
Jim Sciutto has new details what happened and on the search for us tonight. And John Vause in Gaza has an up close view of the military operations that followed and continue in the night.
First to John Vause, what's the latest there?
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, for the last couple days, we're constantly hearing the sound of artillery. That's not happening tonight. That's pretty much all but stopped. In its place we hear air strikes, about a dozen or so air strikes to the east of Gaza city in the last few hours alone. They have been very regular. You can hear the engine of the f-16. It gets louder as it gets closer. You can hear the missile being launched. A few seconds later, you see a flash of light and then there was a very loud and explosion. There are also been a number of strikes, people they carried out by drones.
A lot of drones in the skies here tonight. Many more than we've seen and heard in the past. There is a lot of activity going on here right now. The Palestinian officials tell us the areas which are being targeted east of Gaza city and they are being, they are hitting, we're told houses. We don't know why, we don't know who owns those houses. But we're also being told there are a number of fatalities but given the number of air strikes, repeatedly, the death toll will continue to rise, Anderson.
COOPER: John, you also, you visited Rafa today were over 40 people were killed, 250 wounded, what was the scene like? Because that is the region in which the search is underway for the Israeli soldier.
VAUSE: Yes. Were we down to Rafa, the Israelis told everyone to get out if you can. Go stay indoors, just don't go out and people were taking that advice. We passed a lot of cars crammed filled with people try to head north away from Rafa. Other people had decided to stay inside.
We did get to speak to some of the residents there who said that there had just been this cons constant barrage by Israeli tank bar as well as Israeli artillery, they say, just went on and on and on and on. Many said it was a cease-fire. They didn't know what was going on.
There is an update now on the death toll there. In fact, we heard that another 23 people have been killed in Rafa just in the last couple hours and so those military operations continue. That now means 95 people have been killed in Rafa since the cease-fire collapsed.
We went to the hospital of Kanyunis (ph) where many of the wounded have been treated and it was grim. There were doctors there literally standing in pools of blood trying to treat some of the wounded, as well, and there are also dead bodies of children, as well. So, yes, it was pretty grim down there. It was awful.
COOPER: All right, John Vause, appreciate the update. Be careful.
Now chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto has been learning more about the capture of Lieutenant Goldin. Jim, what have you learn?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, and just Anderson, in the last several moments, a statement coming from the Al-Qassam (ph) brigade, military wing of Hamas claiming that this soldier is likely dead. The circumstances that the Qassam group brigade gives this. They say that they lost contact with the group of the (INAUDIBLE), holy worriers. In their terms, in his ambush, and we assume that all of them have been murdered in an Israeli shelling including they say the Israeli soldier in the attack.
This is coming just now in a statement from Qassam (ph) brigade. Again, the military wing of Hamas. No way to verify that.
Let me tell you what I heard from Israeli sources about the circumstance of this attack. Anderson, they tell me a unit of the Givati (ph) brigade, this is an elite Israeli military unit, in attempt to clear tunnels inside Gaza. They went into a home in Gaza where an entrance to a tunnel was hidden, that a suicide bomber emerged from the entrance to that tunnel then it detonated himself. And then at some point after that, a group of fighters took away the third soldier.
Now, what I'm told, that third soldier, Anderson, was close to the explosion, the detonation of the suicide vest. So it is reasonable to assume that he was at least injured in that attack. And also, I'm told that because he was able to be taken away, presumably, possibly, they think he may be injured, as well.
That's all I'm getting from the Israeli side and you're hearing from the Palestinian side, them claiming that the soldier was killed along with the fighters that may have attempted to grab him. So that's coming in the last few moments, Anderson, and certainly not confirmed at this point.
COOPER: Well Jim, let me ask you about that statement. Because, and again, we may not know this, it may not inform us too much. But -- so are they therefore confirming that they were attempting to capture an Israeli soldier? And also, is there anything on the timing of this? Because obviously, the Israelis are saying this occurred an hour and a half, 90 minutes after the cease-fire began which supposed to begin within therefore would be, obviously, a violation of the cease-fire.
Earlier there had been a statement from a Hamas official quoted in Turkish media who said that they had attempted to get somebody but that it was before the cease-fire.
SCIUTTO: Well, it's great. First question first, are they admitting they attempted to grab a soldier? The statement says may have been attempting to do this. And it's interesting, that would then gel with some of the statements we've been hearing from Hamas throughout the day saying that we have no information. That's the wording that, for instance, Osama Hamdan (ph) used with me when I spoke with him earlier. He is a Hamas spokesman. He has no information Hamas warriors --
COOPER: He's from the political wing live in Qatar and a lot of experts say well, look, often the political wing has no idea what is happening on the ground.
SCIUTTO: No question and fair point. But at least, I was only making the point, Anderson, that statement, that wording leaves some wiggle room that he has no information they have it. It doesn't mean they didn't attempt to do it. Now you have the Qassam brigade which the military wing saying that their forces may have attempted to do this.
So exactly, it's an admission that that was underway. Now to be clear, from the perspective of Hamas fighters and not just Hamas fighters, but also from Palestinian leaders, Saeb Erekat, was making this point to Wolf Blitzer just in the last hour, this is a war, this a battle, the Israelis have captured many Palestinian fighters. So the idea of Palestinian fighters capturing an Israeli fighter in enemy contact, which again, Hamas claims was taking place from the Israeli side while the cease-fire was underway from their perspective, that would just be an act of war and not a war crime. So, you know, as always, you and I covered this for a long time. You know, they are two very different points of view into what takes place in these battles.
COOPER: The timing is particularly important in this case for that very reason.
Jim Sciutto, appreciate it.
Fair to say that even before this happen, whatever, precisely did happen, Israelis not only heavily backed the operation in Gaza but also opposed by a wide margin ending prematurely. And there were also reports the prior to this Israeli government was on the brink of declaring victory in so many words in pulling out. Now it appears all bets are off.
A short time ago, I spoke with Mark Regev, chief spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
COOPER: Mr. Regev, what is your reaction to Hamas saying that they had nothing to do with the capture of this soldier?
MARK REGEV, CHIEF SPOKESMAN FOR ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Well, we know the soldier has been kidnapped. That's our operational assessment and the military is now searching the vicinity to hopefully, we can find him and return him to his unit. But I think Hamas has a problem in admitting culpability because that means they have to admit breaking the cease-fire. And though, I think it's common knowledge that they did break the cease-fire as we heard from President Obama, they don't want to admit it publicly because then they will have a problem with the people of Gaza. Because I think more than anyone else, the people of Gaza wanted this cease-fire to kick in because the people of Gaza had the most to gain from that.
COOPER: It seems to me there is a couple of reasons or explanations for them not admitting it. One, they didn't do it. Two, they did it but they want to get the soldier out of the immediate area, and they want to buy time, so they are lying about it. Three, one branch doesn't know what the other branch is doing, the political wing in Qatar doesn't know what is happening on the ground or four, they are not really in control of the factions there. I know some other faction. Are those all viable options?
REGEV: What you're basically saying is they rather (INAUDIBLE) or they are totally dysfunctional. But either way we know they are a brutal enemy, that they are extremists, that They are ruthless, that they have -- they don't play by the rules.
I mean, we woke up this morning believing we are about to start a cease-fire. And the United States government, the United Nations had received assurances that Hamas was going to abide by this cease-fire and then just an hour and a half after the cease-fire started, you get this unprovoked attack on our forces.
Two soldiers being killed. One soldier kidnapped and you get mortar fire on the frontier and missile fire, rocket fire on cities in southern Israel. Hamas clearly torpedoed the chance for a cease-fire. I think it's fair to say this is part of the course because I think this must be the fifth or sixth cease-fire that Hamas torpedoed since this quest has began.
COOPER: There was a meeting in the security cabinet in Israel tonight to discuss the cease-fire as well as the capture of the soldier. Can you tell us anything about the outcome of that?
REGEV: I'm afraid I could not. That would be improper. Security meetings in Israel are confidential by the very nature.
REGEV: It's clear, though, the focus up until now was on the military track and the diplomatic track and seeing how those tracks complement each other, as Hamas has shut the door now to the diplomatic track. I mean, today, when they torpedoed the cease-fire, I mean, think of the hours of hard work put in by the secretary of state of the United States, secretary of the United Nations, the Egyptians, the Europeans, the Arab League and others, to make this package that we're starting this morning at 8:00, endless effort hours, phone calls to make this diplomacy that was worked out and the package was finally agreed to and Hamas sent assurances that they are agree to the cease-fire and then it all just fell apart.
So I think diplomacy now is going to take a backseat to the military. We're going to put the military pressure on Hamas. We are going to be dealing with Hamas military machine with those missiles. And you got to remember, the missiles still raining down on Israeli cities and we have to deal with that. We have got to deal with the tunnels and we are going to find our soldier, a major effort underway to find the missing young offer.
COOPER: If it was Hamas and it was in fact a conscience decision by Hamas to blow the cease-fire by kidnapping an Israeli soldier, it shows a, the value they place on kidnapping an Israeli soldier and having an Israeli soldier. It also is just a tremendous blow to the humanitarian needs of all the citizens under their control.
REGEV: One hundred percent correct. I mean, ultimately, what you saw today is Hamas not only killed Israelis. Hamas not only torpedoed negotiated U.N. supported cease-fire, humanitarian cease-fire, but they also destroyed the chances of bringing immediate and concrete relief to the people of Gaza.
And this is the absurdity. Hamas is very happy to complain about the suffering in Gaza and to make sure that's seen on television, but they are not willing to do anything whatsoever to alleviate that. I mean, the people of Gaza tonight, I'm sure our intelligence will validate this, must be furious, must be angry with Hamas. They were supposed to get at a minimum three-day period of peace and quiet for emergency humanitarian support, support that we know they need very badly, and that is not happening, simply because Hamas said no. And I think this should, I think, present to everyone, what is the real reason this conflict continues? What is the real reason the people of Gaza suffer? It's because of this terrible authoritarian extremist fundamentalist Hamas regime.
COOPER: Mark Regev, appreciate you being on, Mark, thank you.
REGEV: My pleasure.
COOPER: Coming up, the Palestinian perspective. I'll speak to the Palestinian ambassador of the United Nations next.
COOPER: Welcome back, our breaking news, just moments ago, Hamas' military wing, the Qassam Brigade issued a statement suggesting involvement in the suicide attack that left two Israeli troops dead in the whereabouts of one, Hadar Goldin, unknown.
Let's go back to Jim Sciutto who just learned more -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Well Anderson, first to your question you asked me a few moments ago, what about the timing of this clash with Israeli soldiers? The Qassam brigade, the military wing of Hamas says that this clash began at 7:00 a.m., so an hour before the cease-fire was meant to begin and continued up to about 8:00 a.m. So they are claiming that it happened before the cease-fire took effect. And as you and I have spoken about, there have been allegations throughout the day, for instance, the Hamas spokesman told me earlier in the day, that they also observed Israeli troops advancing, you know, as that cease-fire was approaching and they say even after the cease-fire began.
But another point from the state in here. Because the military wing is saying that only the political wing agreed to a cease-fire that said that all fire would stop from Hamas side. The military wing says they agree to stop firing on Israeli territory, Israeli troops outside of Gaza but not stop fire against Israeli troops inside Gaza. This gets to a real weakness in the cease-fire agreement because it did allow Israeli anti-tunnel operations to continue up to existing battle lines. Those battle lines extending into Gaza. And in addition to that, you see a clear division here between Hamas' military wing and its political. It says, you know, the political, the mediating forces who negotiated this agreement said one thing but we, the military wing never agreed to that.
And that's a real problem going forward, Anderson. We talked about this a lot. You know, if the Hamas' political leaders cannot control the military wing, you know, do any of these agreements have any value going forward? It's a real problem.
COOPER: Jim Sciutto, appreciate it. Thanks for the update.
Joining me now is Palestinian ambassador to U.N., Riyad Mansour. Mr. Ambassador, appreciate you joining us. Let me ask you about that point. Does one arm of Hamas know what the other arm is doing? Does the political wing in Qatar know what the military wing is doing on the ground?
RIYAD MANSOUR, PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: I ask about the leadership of Hamas, particularly Khalid Meshaal in Qatar speaks on behalf of all Hamas. I saw them the other day speaking on Charlie Rose and he asked him that question and he responded by saying that they are one and he speaks on behalf of all of Hamas.
COOPER: But all day long he has been saying we have no information about any of this, about this soldier, and now we have a statement from the military wing saying, yes, there was this operation, go into some detail about it.
MANSOUR: Well, the one you have, an area of frictions and military forces from the Israeli side so close to many heavily populated areas in the Gaza Strip and they are occupying part of the Gaza Strip, then one can very easily expect some frictions and some fighting taking place, including with regard to the tunnels. You have maybe the beginning of a tunnel in one area, it might be under Israeli occupying forces in Gaza now. But the end of it might be on the other side and if there are on the other side gorillas from the Palestinian side and the Israeli soldiers are advancing, who can predict that there will not be confrontation between them? So it is a very complicated situation.
COOPER: But my question, though, is if the political, you said that the political wing in Qatar speaks for the organization. If the political wing all day long is saying we have no information about this and now we have a very detailed statement from the military wing at this late hour that seems to imply that political wing has no idea what the military wing is doing.
MANSOUR: But what I'm trying to say as even in the case of the Israeli armed forces, in the morning they were telling something, later on as the progress of the day was, you know, as the day was unfolding, they started getting more information about exactly what happened. And it is safe to assume that the political leadership of Hamas did not have, you know, the details of what happened in that incident. And later on, when they made their contacts with the people in the ground, they were able to have a clearer picture.
COOPER: But, the political wing still has not made any statement about it. This is a statement from the military wing. And the larger point is, you know, there are those and Jim Sciutto just raised the question about doesn't it make it difficult for Israel to have faith in negotiations with Palestinian factions if the sense is that there are so many divisions between these factions?
MANSOUR: Let me just say that the Palestinian groups led by the president Abbas announced that they were (INAUDIBLE) and respect the cease-fire and they are repeating that call until this morning. And in fact, President Abbas formed a large delegation composed of 12 leaders from all political groups within the PLO and including Hamas and Jihad that will be leaving to Cairo tomorrow, not only to honor the cease-fire, but to negotiate with the Israelis through the Egyptians in order to have the cease-fire in place and to try also to extend the period of time from three days to a longer cease-fire. And to work very hard for a sustainable cease-fire and to deal with the root causes of this conflict so that we can move into possibly more of a comprehensive cease-fire.
We are committed to that and we are determined to do it. And president Abbas indicated that delegation, no matter what, will be leaving to Cairo tomorrow morning.
COOPER: There have been some who suggested that perhaps some fighters from Hamas did not understand the deal that was made, the cease-fire deal that was made and agreed to certainly by the political wing of Hamas. I don't understand how that could be possible because the announcement was made many hours before the cease-fire went into effect. Do you believe it's possible that one side, one part didn't know that they weren't supposed to have offensive operations?
MANSOUR: Well, when you say one part, it may be one small part, you know, that is possible. But what is really important is not to be focused on the option of continuation of war and destruction because there is no justification whatsoever to kill. In Rafa alone, in a span of less than 24 hours, close to 100 persons, most of them civilians and hundreds injured and your reporters on the ground showed the tragedy in which the civilian population among the Palestinians are at the receiving end of this tragedy and the life of our people is as important as the life of anyone, including the Israelis. But if the focus is only on the soldier and really to give a cover-up for killing large number of civilian, Palestinian civilians in a span of one day, this large number of civilians in Rafa alone and in the Gaza Strip in total in the last 24 hours, 169 killed and hundreds injured. There is no justification whatsoever for killing innocent civilians for any reason for any story that could be pushed by anyone.
And the cease-fire story is that we want to address this tragic situation in the Gaza Strip in which about 10,000 Palestinians have been killed or injured. The great majority of them, 80 percent are civilians.
COOPER: Is there --
MANSOUR: We want to put an end to that.
COOPER: There was a prime opportunity to do that. There was a 72- hour cease-fire to was supposed to take place if all sides had honored it. Do you not entertain the possibility Hamas could be responsible for violating the cease-fire. And if so, then, why would Israel want to enter, sit down right now at the negotiating table with a group that they feel that is not going to honor any agreement made.
MANSOUR: Is the option of continuation the carnage against the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip is a solution to the situation?
COOPER: Isn't it a decision that was made by whoever violated the size cease-fire, if indeed it was Hamas who violated the cease-fire by continuing operations and capturing a soldier, isn't it Hamas who made that decision to punish the very people of Gaza who they are supposed to represent?
MANSOUR: The people that are punished in the Gaza Strip are by the Israeli army. They are the ones who are killing them. They are the ones making them displaced --
COOPER: You don't believe Hamas bears responsible for firing rockets near schools or anything else?
MANSOUR: What we're saying is we want to put an end to the cycle of violence. If we want to stay in the field of who is responsible for what, we are not going to address the most important issue of putting an end to the tragedy.
We are interested in putting an end to this tragedy. Let us move forward. We are saying, all Palestinian groups including Hamas are willing and ready to honor and respect the cease-fire. They are willing and ready to go to Cairo and to begin the process of negotiation. Why don't we focus on that? Why don't we focus on the large number of civilians being killed including during the last 24 hours. Is that not important?
COOPER: Well, we certainly have been focusing on that for ma m days now, but certainly the reason we're focusing on this soldier right now, this is the incident which has destroyed a cease-fire, a hard would be cease-fire, a hard negotiated for cease-fire. So that's the significance of why we're focusing on that.
MANSOUR: Yes, but I think it's our collective responsibility is to salvage the situation and cease-fire and if we can, salvage it, I think it is the duty to do so. I'm telling you from our side, the Palestinian side, we're ready and willing. President Abbas is committed. All groups are going to be represented in this delegation. They will be in Cairo tomorrow. The Egyptians are inviting both sides. Palestinians and the Israelis, our delegation will show up. Will the Israeli side show up?
And if they want to stay on this incident, it means that they are not interested in giving peace a chance, in giving the cease-fire a chance. Let us give the cease-fire a chance, begin the process of talking, extend the three days to possibly seven days or longer so that people can be calmer and they use their heads in dealing with the situation, instead of being angry and dealing with it with their feelings and their anger and therefore more people will be killed. And unfortunately, in this case will be Palestinian civilians. COOPER: Ambassador Mansour, appreciate your time. Thank you very
MANSOUR: You're welcome.
COOPER: As always, for more on the story no, just go to CNN.com.
Coming up next, the national ordeal this story revives in so many Israelis, the five-year captivity by another soldier by Hamas, (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: Obviously, the family of Hadar Goldin and his fellow soldiers are enduring an extraordinarily difficult night tonight as are many Palestinian citizens in Gaza not knowing whether he's dead or what could be a long ordeal for this family.
This is as Israeli military spokesman, Peter Lerner told me earlier, Hamas' MO. Nearly three years ago, IDF sergeant major was released after more than five years in Hamas captivity, during which time the militants first denied they had taking him and refused him visits from the Red Cross.
With that, you can understand why this latest incident is such a body blow to so many Israelis. Joining is Gershon Baskin, who helped negotiate Gilad Shalit's release.
Gershon, Lieutenant Colonel Lerner says that this abduction has the MO of Hamas. Given what you know about them, how they operate, do you agree with that?
GERSHON BASKIN, HELPED NEGOTIATE ISRAEL'S SOLDIER GILAD SHALIT'S RELEASE: I think it's most likely Hamas that is responsible. It is their motive operation with the suicide bomber and then the grabbing of a soldier, this is their stated goal. Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a Palestinian friend of mine who said they would not agree to a cease-fire until they abducted some Israeli soldiers.
This was some 30, 36 hours ago that this was told to me. Here we have the mission done the next morning. I think it is most likely them that did it.
COOPER: The spokesman for Hamas that talked to CNN denies they have knowledge of it from their people on the ground. You say that when Gilad Shalit was abducted, Hamas refused to take responsibility or claim any knowledge of that abduction for several weeks. Is that just to try to get the person out of the immediate area so they are trying to buy themselves time?
BASKIN: I think the Hamas representative, they had no information. He has no information. The political wing has no information. I think it's likely this is an operation that was done and decided on by the military wing. They didn't inform them, the political wing, didn't ask for permission or instructions to do it. That's the way this war is working right now. The political people are trying to negotiate a cease-fire. They don't necessarily have command on the ground. They don't necessarily have the agreement of the military wing, but they are trying to show that they are in charge of the show.
COOPER: You talked about the fractured nature of the various Palestinian factions and within Hamas the political wing and military wing. That has to complicate negotiations to get a captured soldier back.
BASKIN: It makes it almost impossible. The decision-making process is extraordinarily complex. Some bodies are secretive in which all the members in the counsel even know who all the other members are. I don't think anyone is absolutely sure all the members of the bureau are and they make decisions usually by consensus.
So it's a long, tedious process. In addition to that, there is no declared leader of Hamas today. They don't have a president. They don't have someone elected to be their decision maker. One of many decision makers, after Israel assassinated the founder of Hamas, there is no senior leader with authority of Hamas.
And after the assassination in 2012, there is no single ultimate commander of the military forces. So it's a very diverse leadership with a lot of divisions and political struggles within the political branch and military branch and doesn't seem to me today that the political branch has any direct authority over the military.
COOPER: Do you think Israel would be able to get this soldier back? I mean, from a military standpoint in the immediate hours and days?
BASKIN: I think it's very unlikely, I think it will be difficult to find him even with the enormous Israeli military presence there. The Israelis couldn't find him after five years and four months in captivity. They are there on the ground and they can use intelligence information they can gather. It will be difficult, I'm not sure and I hate to say this online, on air, but it will be very miraculous if the soldier comes out of this alive.
COOPER: Gershon Baskin, I appreciate the expertise, thank you.
Coming up, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza as the violence rages. Medical supplies running low, shelters overflowing. I'll speak with a U.N. official about what, if anything, can be done about it next.
COOPER: We've been reporting Israeli forces stepped up operations as they search for 23-year-old Lieutenant Hadar Goldin captured during a tunnel clearing mission. The citizens of Gaza are once again, caught in the cross fire. The violence continuing with no end in sight. No time to bury their dead in safety.
No time to tend to the wounded or go about the business of everyday life that we all take for granted. Instead, there is only more death and injury, as well, with no electricity or water pumps or sewage systems, it's a crisis escalating with the violence. Randi Kaye reports.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a situation that for some relief workers is too much to bear.
CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS, SPOKESMAN, U.N. RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY: The rights of Palestinians, even their children are denied and it's appalling.
KAYE: The children, there are according to the Gaza Health Ministry more than 325 killed and according to the U.N., nearly 2,000 wounded. The cease-fire that never materialized was supposed to provide an opportunity to treat them, but as the fighting today renewed, there was hardly that chance.
CNN's John Vause saw at this hospital in Gaza doctors frantically treating the newly wounded while standing in blood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shrapnel and fractures and explosives injuries open, wounds, cut amputated lower limb, mainly amputated lower limbs.
KAYE: More than three weeks into the conflict, around 7,000 people in Gaza are reportedly wounded. Medical supplies are running low and the very issue of powering the hospitals is a challenge. The power plant is destroyed. So the main hospital including all the life support machines now running on two generators.
Food and clean water are a problem, too. Water pumps and sewage are failing. Leaving reportedly only 5 percent of water safe to drink. There is also little security to keep anyone here, especially the children, out of harm's way. This woman and her six children are desperately trying to find somewhere safe to go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They have killed 45 members of my family. They've destroyed our homes. My aunt and uncle, all of them killed.
KAYE: The U.N. says a quarter of a million people are housed in shelters, but can't take many more and if the fighting continues, tens, if not hundreds of thousands could be stranded in the streets. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Chris Gunness is the spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency you saw on that piece, he joins me tonight.
Chris, I spoke to your colleague early this week. He described the situation there, as basically the U.N. being at a breaking point. How dire are the humanitarian consequences at the moment?
GUNNESS: At moment we speak, there are a quarter of a million people in some 90 shelters across the Gaza strip. Now when I say shelters, I mean, schools in ordinary times. Schools in which a thousand people come in the morning and leave in the afternoon, some of them have as many as 3,500 to 4,000 desperate displaced people in them.
So water is a huge problem. We have to truck every liter of water to those quarter of a million people. Food, likewise, but of course, the ultimate problem is security because when you have a situation where people who would come to the U.N. for safe shelter having been ordered out of their homes by the Israeli army, when that same army's artillery can hit those un designated safe areas, we have to admit that nowhere is safe in Gaza.
COOPER: You say it's not just supplies that are running out, it's that they can't get to where they are needed to go, is that correct?
GUNNESS: Yes, that is a major problem. The problem is not having supplies inside Gaza. We are a neutral civilian humanitarian organization, and we have nothing but international law, and the force of humanitarian principles to protect us, but we're on a battle field essentially, and we rely on the parties to ensure neutrality.
And when you have a situation where eight of our staff, eight of my colleagues have been killed in this, imagine a situation in which eight of your colleagues in CNN had been killed on a battle field. What would CNN's reaction be? Wouldn't your bosses pull you out?
No, that's not an option available to us. We are leading and the world is seeing us leading the international humanitarian response to the huge human displacement crisis that we're now seeing in Gaza as a result of this terrible offense.
This offense should I say, this terrible conflict that's going on and we have no choice, but to stay there and shoulder our humanitarian responsibilities.
COOPER: If the displacement of people, the internal displacement of people grows, if this continues, do you have more places for people? I mean, if the numbers keep growing, do you have more shelters?
GUNNESS: We are fast running out of options, but if we're running out of options, so much more the people of Gaza, and I think they are facing the Abias today because the cease-fire and the fact that it may be unravelling or may have unravelled has dire humanitarian consequences for them.
As I said, earlier, there are about a quarter of a million people in the U.N. premises. The Israeli Army has been dropping leaflets and texting people to leave their homes and it's adding to the displacement.
And our fear is soon we'll find ourselves with tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of people stranded in the streets of Gaza, no food, no water, no shelter, and ultimately, no security. And that's a very, very worrying prospect.
COOPER: Chris, appreciate your time. Thank you, Chris.
GUNNESS: My pleasure. COOPER: Up next, new information about the two Americans infected with Ebola. One of them is expected to arrive in the United States tomorrow. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is at Emory University in Atlanta with the doctor in charge of their treatment. His exclusively interview ahead.
COOPER: Well, tonight the World Health Organization say the Ebola outbreak is moving faster than the efforts to contain it. It comes as two Americans that have it are coming back to the United States. They are stable enough to travel. A custom-equipped plane is going to bring them one at a time to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
The first of two is expected to arrive sometime tomorrow. Now this is the doctor that will be treating them in an exclusive interview with chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He shows Sanjay the protective gear he's going to wear.
It's an elaborate plan, but getting these two very sick Americans home and making sure they won't infect someone else. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now. So I know you and I talked about this last night, but I want to ask you again because I think a lot of people worried about it. How risky is it to bring these Ebola patients to the U.S. for treatment?
GUPTA: Well, it's a pretty risky thing. There is no question. Simply making sure these patients are medically stable enough is a very important requirement here. I talked to the CDC director earlier and said explain to me why, how this decision got made.
And he said it was about bringing American citizens who are sick doing this humanitarian work, bringing them home and I also asked the lead doctor the very same question.
GUPTA: We know that the risk is small, but it would be smaller if these patients did not come here. If you don't have anything magical to provide, why take the risk at all?
DR. BRUCE RIBNER, EMORY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: I think you have been in that part of the world and you know the level of care that can be delivered. These are Americans who went over there to supply humanitarian mission of medical care for these individuals, and our feeling is that they deserve the best medical care to try and resolve this infection that they can get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: You know, the mortality rates in Africa, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent. Dr. Ribner, who you just saw there went on to tell me that he thinks it will be better here. They are going to improve the chance of survival. That's another very compelling reason.
COOPER: There is no official treatment, so what exactly are they do to care for these patients once they arrive? GUPTA: The type of therapy is called supportive therapy and what that basically means is support the body while the body is trying to fight the infection. They give the body back fluids, give the body back blood, and do those things. That's similar sort of care they feel that they can do it much better, much more efficiently, and much more consistently.
And there is an idea, Anderson, something we talked about last night about potentially experimental therapies, things that have not FDA approved, but I've learned from the doctors that they are in conversations with the NIH and FDA to see if some of those yet not approved therapies can be made available for these patients.
That hasn't been confirmed yet. They want to see the patients first, but I can also tell you, Anderson, very, very basic information has not been obtained on these patients. They don't know simple blood values. They can't tell me if the patient is on a respirator or when the patient will arrive. They will start from the beginning when these patients do finally get here.
COOPER: Sanjay, thanks very much. We'll return to the Middle East right after this.
COOPER: Well, you're looking at Gaza City early morning after a night of air strikes, another military operations across Gaza, all in the wake of this morning's attack that killed two Israeli troops. The status of a third soldier unknown.
Sara Sidner joins us now in Southern Israel. What are you seeing and hearing, Sara?
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've been listening to the sounds of F-15s flying overhead, Israeli fighter jets. We've also had to move from a position a couple hours ago because there was a mortar that came in very, very close to where we were. The sound far too close. We had to take cover and leave that area.
We've also been hearing a large number of booms into Gaza over the past several hours, and the result of that, obviously, is destruction and death in Gaza itself. What we can tell you as I just got off the phone with the IDF and they say look, the search continues.
The search for the soldier continues, the mission continues, obviously hearing different things from Hamas, putting something out on their Facebook and making a statement saying that during the time when there was, the soldier was allegedly captured, which is what Israel says.
They believe that the soldier is dead, if in fact, he was taken, but they lost contact they say with the group in that area. They believe that the soldier may have been killed, if he was assuming as they put it, he was captured by them.
There is a lot of information that we do not know the answer to, but certainly the IDF saying the search and rescue mission does continue and they are going forward with their mission to try to denude the entire area of tunnels.
COOPER: All right. Sara Sidner, appreciate the update. Thanks very much. That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching. The CNN original series, "The Sixties" starts now.